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A Recommendation to end Over the Air Broadcasts – Madness or not?

With the UK TV mostly received via Free to air channels on Freeview Digital, it comes as an odd recommendation from the House of Lords to actually STOP using the airwaves for TV broadcasting. The freed up bandwidth could then be re-purposed for use in improving mobile communications.

The idea would be to push all TV broadcasting over the internet, cable is already a form of this where the TV feed comes in over the same cable as your internet, Sky comes in via a Satellite on different frequencies so wouldn’t be effected. But Freeview TV would be, this suggest would mean everyone who has a Freeview capable TV or Set Top Box, would need another upgrade too.

The report, titled Broadband for All – An Alternative Vision makes a series of suggestions that are part of a wider plan to improve broadband quality for all. As an idea this would be fine, if we had a solid broadband platform to start with, but taking the average UK broadband connection, we don’t.

The majority of UK broadband is still ADSL based technology, rather than cable or fibre optic like other countries. This means its inherently slower and more susceptible to problems. Also the infrastructure probably wouldn’t be able to cope with the extra load streaming high quality live TV reliably would demand.

Before something as crazy as this could be considered, the government are going to have to step in and force some serious investment in internet infrastructure across the board, not just in the major areas.